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From Text To Edition: Processes Of Scholarly Thinking In German-Jewish Literature In The Early Nineteenth Century

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Chapter Summary

In 1995, the Center for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University conducted an interdisciplinary seminar on the subject of Orthodox Judaism. The seminar illuminated the different manifestations of the phenomenon and provided an instructive demonstration of the compelling nature of a discussion conducted among philosophers, historians, and sociologists. Regarding cognition, Orthodox identity is not premised upon a level of theological comprehension or the internalization of principles of faith. It is rather embodied in a sense of obligation, fidelity, existential identification, mental disposition, and unconditional loyalty to this community, this Posek, this Torah, and this Absolute. Putting a further gloss on this idea, this chapter proposes using the term orthonomy together with, or in place of the accepted terms orthodox or orthoprax. This new notion would express the principled aspect of compliance with the Halakhah and the believer’s consciousness of being a commanded being.

Keywords: Halakhah; historians; Orthodox identity; Orthodox Judaism; philosophers; sociologists



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